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Telecom Breakthroughs As The Key To Transforming SME Futures On du's exclusive portfolio of telco offerings aimed exclusively at the UAE's SMEs.

By Hany Aly

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

The UAE's rise as a global incubator for entrepreneurs, startups, and future innovation has created a rich landscape for businesses of all sizes to thrive in. Backed by the leadership's vision for creating a vibrant platform of opportunity, small-to- medium enterprises (SMEs) are being touted as key contributors towards the country's economic diversification.

It's pleasing to see that the wheels are already set in motion. Contributions from the SME sector towards GDP are estimated to be at around 53% in 2019, up from 49% in 2018, according to the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority's latest report. Backed by a range of public sector initiatives –such as plans to expedite payments to SMEs within 30 days instead of 90, and the growth of supportive institutions like Khalifa Fund, StartAD, and Dubai SME– the federal government is targeting total SME contributions to reach 60% by 2021. The UAE leadership has made supporting SMEs a key priority.

This sets an inspiring example for other sectors, including the telecommunications industry, to make a mark on the SME ecosystem in order to drive the future progress of the nation. ICT (information and communications technology) players are digitally transforming the status quo of business environments across the world. In the UAE, this transformation is coming to life with the rollout of 5G networks. With faster speeds of up to 1 Gbps, higher network capacity enabling up to 100 times more connected devices per square kilometer, and 1 ms latency, 5G is creating a new chapter in connectivity for individuals, businesses, and government entities. 5G is also giving way to the realization of internet of things (IoT) network and artificial intelligence use cases, which harness the potential to digitally transform the social and economic futures of the country.

Related: From Operator To Service Provider: The Role Of Telcos In Tomorrow's Digital Future

Promising a world of revolutionary change, du's 5G enriched future offerings will lay the foundation for a revolutionary set of use cases. These include extreme mobile broadband use cases, which enable higher traffic volumes and data rates that that will transfer into an increasingly enriched and seamless connected experience for end users. Through the realization of massive machine communication, improved latency will enable better and faster response times for everyday applications such as connected ambulances and smart city sensors. 5G will also power critical machine communication use cases, which will enable the proliferation of innovations like autonomous cars, remote medical surgery, AI robots, factory automation, and drones with advances in areas such as network capacity.

The transformative potential of du's digitally transformative solutions flows into our offerings such as Business WiFi, which offers extreme connectivity– anytime, anywhere. By developing business broadband solutions with a commitment towards placing advanced 5G connectivity in the palms of businesses across the UAE, we are being instrumental in enhancing business customers' ability, to digitalize their operations. With the ability to leverage our intelligent and dynamic 5G network, with higher speeds up to 1 Gbps and higher capacity, customers can boost their productivity and increase efficiency with a plug and play 5G solution that suits businesses of all sizes.

Similarly, digital transformation of the SME sector is the core focus behind our Business POS (point of sale) offering. This is redefining the SME space to help businesses move forward with seamless, efficient, and affordable payment technology. With Business POS, this payment solution enables merchants to accept card payments and digitize their payment transactions. As the UAE aims towards becoming a cashless society by 2020, solutions like this, which empower businesses' digital transformation agendas, are even more pertinent to the needs of SMEs. While these innovative solutions are set to make an immense impact on the SME landscape, there is plenty more to come as 5G connectivity unleashes an ever-increasing variety of digital-first use cases in the coming years.

Off the back of these technologies, this is enabling telcos to revisit their service offerings in order to shape and empower the SMEs of tomorrow. Through the provision of empowering telecom solutions, operators can make a positive impact on the future state of the business sphere. In the case of the UAE, tools like these can proffer SMEs advanced capabilities to navigate the future challenges and opportunities that come their way. At du, we are taking pride in our strategic role of empowering the next generation of business.

By leveraging technologies and our extensive expertise, we continue to create an exclusive portfolio of telco offerings aimed exclusively at the UAE's SMEs. The UAE's economic diversification agenda is in a healthy state of play thanks to pioneering efforts from the public sector. As digital transformation becomes widespread, telcos will continue to play a crucial role in laying the foundations for SMEs to thrive. By developing a wider range of telco products for SMEs, this will generate a positive country-wide impact on the SME sector. SMEs are the backbone of the UAE's economy. Equipped with robust telco solutions, their future potential is limitless.

Related: Entrepreneur Middle East Hosts Round Table, Presented By Du, On Accelerating Digital Transformation

Hany Aly

Executive and investor focused on the Middle East startup ecosystem

Hany Aly is an executive and investor focused on the startup ecosystem in the Middle East. For more than 20 years, he has created and executed strategies to support innovation, digital transformation, and the growth of telecoms and information communication technology (ICT) organizations across the region.


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